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AFC Playoff Picture: The Steelers current spot heading into Week 13

The Pittsburgh Steelers currently control their own destiny, as of now, but that can change in the blink of an eye.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2019 season is 11 games old, and they sit at 6-5 heading into a Week 13 matchup with the Cleveland Browns. With only five games remaining on the team’s schedule, it is now we start to take a look at the AFC Playoff Picture, and what might need to take place for the black-and-gold to get into the postseason.

After a Week 12 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, and a loss by the Oakland Raiders, the Steelers are once again in the sixth seed and in control of their own destiny heading into Sunday’s rematch with the Cleveland Browns.

Let’s take a look at where things sit heading into Week 13:

AFC Playoff Picture — Week 13

1. New England Patriots (10-1) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Texans (7-4), vs. Chiefs (7-4), at Bengals (0-11), vs. Bills (8-3), vs. Dolphins (2-9)
2. Baltimore Ravens (9-2) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. 49ers (10-1), at Bills (8-3), vs. Jets (4-7), at Browns (5-6), vs. Steelers (6-5)
3. Houston Texans (7-4) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Patriots (10-1), vs. Broncos (3-8), at Titans (6-5), at Buccaneers (4-7), vs. Titans (6-5)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Raiders (6-5), at Patriots (10-1), vs. Broncos (3-8), at Bears (5-6), vs. Chargers (4-7)
5. Buffalo Bills (9-3) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Ravens (8-2), at Steelers (6-5), at Patriots (10-1), vs. Jets (4-7)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Browns (5-6), at Cardinals (3-7-1), vs. Bills (8-3), at Jets (4-7), at Ravens (8-2)

In the Hunt:

7. Oakland Raiders (6-5) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Chiefs (7-4), vs. Titans (6-5), vs. Jaguars (4-7), at Chargers (4-7), at Broncos (3-8)
8. Indianapolis Colts (6-5) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Titans (6-5), at Buccaneers (4-7), at Saints (9-2), vs. Panthers (5-6), at Jaguars (4-7)
9. Tennessee Titans (5-5) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Colts (6-5), at Raiders (6-5), vs. Texans (7-4), vs. Saints (9-2), at Texans (7-4)
10. Cleveland Browns (5-6) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Steelers (6-5), vs. Bengals (0-11), at Cardinals (3-7-1), vs. Ravens (8-2), at Bengals (0-11)

These standings will shuffle significantly in just a few weeks, let alone by Week 17. And in regards to the Steelers, they have to like their positioning if they can take care of their own business. A big ‘if’, I know.

The Steelers still play the Bills on their schedule, at home, and a win over Buffalo would catapult them in front if there were a tie between the two teams. With the Bills still having to play Baltimore and New England, nothing is guaranteed there.

Pittsburgh also has the head-to-head win over the Colts, and it seems the Colts, Titans and Texans could eliminate all but the division winner over the next few weeks. The Colts’ finishing schedule is easier than the Texans, but between the Texans, Titans and Colts, those three teams will certainly help pave the way for Pittsburgh to get a good look at a Wild Card spot.

It is sad to say, but it seems as if the Steelers’ only hope for a playoff berth would be via the Wild Card. Not that the Ravens can’t slip up against the 49ers or Bills, but they look like the best team in the NFL at the current moment.

The Steelers have the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL, per PFF, and taking care of their own business will leave no doubt whether they deserve a spot in the playoffs. A lot can change in just a few short weeks...

Take a look at the above standings, who do you see failing down the stretch? And which team will be a surprise to climb the rankings? Let us know in the comment section below!